tv Capital News Today CSPAN April 16, 2012 11:00pm-2:00am EDT
capital investments, long-term investments in job creation, it will increase wages in the long run. by the way, that's why presidents kennedy, reagan, clinton and bush all backed capital gains rates cuts, as president kennedy said so well, "a rising tide lifts all boats." second, we should realize that raising the capital gains rate doesn't translate directly into higher revenues. why is that? it's because it's an elective tax. think about it. you only pay it when you choose to sell an asset, when you choose to realize what's called a gain, when you sell something. you don't have to incur this tax. common sense, experience teaches a higher economic gains rate causes some to hold assets rather than sell them just as a lower capital gains rate will encourage more people to sell an asset because the rate will be lower.
and this is what's happened. after every recent capital gains cut, rate cut, in 19 81, 1997 and 2003 capital gains revenue actually increased. you had a cut in the rate in 1981, 1987 and 2003 and what happened? the revenues actually increased. lower rate, higher revenues. how could that be? well, because with the lower rate, people sold more assets and created more economic activity. capital gains tax rates increased by between 37% and 114% over four years. and that's after inflation. by contrast, after a capital gains rate increase took effect in 1987, that was just talked about a moment ago, capital gains revenues actually dropped 55% over the next four years. so we can debate about what the rate ought to be, but the fact is to say that there's going to
be a direct correlation between raising that rate and more revenue simply is not borne out by historical experience or by common sense. third, unlike other types of income, capital gains are often double taxed. think about a typical capital investment, someone buying corporate stock. that's the most typical one. holding that stock for over a year -- you've got to hold it for over a year -- and then selling it for a profit. that gain has already been subject to the 35% rate at the corporate level. it's then followed by the capital gains rate now at 15% when the shareholder sells. for a combined 45% tax on that capital investment. by the way, with global competitors like canada, japan, united kingdom and others moving to cut their corporate tax rates in order to attract jobs, this new tax on capital investment would move the united states further backwards in terms of being competitive in the global economy. our corporate tax rate is
already higher than all of our major foreign competitors, as of april 1, japan lowered theirs making us number one in the world and something you don't want to be number one in, which is the highest corporate rate. we don't need new barriers to growth and job creation, and that's what will result. instead of an election-year gimmick that won't help the economy, it's time to focus on fundamental tax reform to make american businesses and workers more competitive. again, as the president's own simpson-bowles commission has recommended, as the president's own jobs council has recommended. i agree with what former clinton budget director alice rivlin said about the buffet tax, which is that the way to fix the tax code is to fix the tax code, not to add another complication at the margins. the buffett tax is an election year distraction. why not focus on the elephant in the room? an outdated and complex tax code that is hurting our economy,
weighing down our economy, making it harder for us to get out of the kind of doldrums we're in right now with this weak recovery. i believe there is a consensus among economists and serious thinkers across the spectrum, republicans, democrats, independents alike, that an increasingly competitive global economy, we'd have to reform our tax code to help us get out of this rut we're in, this historically weak recovery that leaves too many people vulnerable, too many parents wondering if the future is going to be brighter for their kids and grandkids as it was for them. i believe there's also a growing bipartisan consensus about how to do it, tkhas we ought to do -- which is we ought to do it by broadening the base, getting rid of growing credits and deductions i talked about earlier. lowering the marginal rates on american families and on our businesses to be able to create jobs. that will ensure that those who can afford to pay more will pay their share, their fair share. and the economy will grow.
rising tide lifting all boats. truly helping families who are worried, for good reason, about their economic future. mr. president, the american people don't deserve more gimmicks as we'll see this week in washington. they deserve real leadership. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. whitehouse: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: mr. president, while we are waiting for the next senator to arrive and be recognized, i just wanted to respond to a couple of the statements that have been made recently on the floor. it's interesting that my republican colleagues tend to refer to this as a tax gimmick. it was referred to as tax gimmick week because we're considering having people earning $250 million pay a rate equal to what a truck driver
pays. that doesn't sound very gimmicky to me. that sounds like pretty main street fairness to me. the bottom line is there is a gimmick at stake. it's the gimmick in the tax code that allows for that to take place, that allows for a hedge fund billionaire to claim a lower rate than a truck driver. so if there's a gimmick here, it's the gimmick that we're trying to remove. it's not a gimmick that we're trying to pursue. it's been said that this is a tax on investment, a tax on job creation. it just isn't. it's a tax on income when it's declared as income. and if our purpose should be how to add back the jobs lost in the recession, we just passed a highway bill with 75 senators supporting it, only 22 opposed, which as we know around here in this partisan environment, is a landslide. it came out of the environment
and public works committee unanimously. it had 40 amendments accepted. and now three million jobs are bottled up on the other end of this hallway in the house of representatives because the republican speaker doesn't want to use democratic votes. if you want to do something about jobs, tell the republican speaker to pass the senate highway bill. it's as simple as that. three million jobs, bipartisan. so when we talk about jobs, i've got a really good recommendation. pass the big highway jobs bill that's being kept bottled up here. senator harkin, do you seek recognition now? the other point that i wanted to make on the question of whether the tax system is really progressive or not, the i.r.s. and the federal reserve point out that for the top 1% in america, the top 1% in terms of wealth control 33.8% of the
nation's wealth. the top 1% in taxes pay only 28.3% of the taxes, when all taxes are taken into consideration. the top 5% control 60% of the nation's wealth. but the top 5% in taxes only pay 44.7%. so if you want to take numbers sort of without context, you can make it look as if it's very progressive. but when you measure against the wealth and inequality in this country and income inekwult in this country -- equality in this country it is hard to say we're running a progressive tax system. that is why as reuters reported, about 65% of taxpayers who earn more than $1 million face a lower tax rate than the median tax rate for moderate income earners making $100,000 or, less ÷ year.
according to the congressional research service. mr. harkin: i yield the floor. mr. thune: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. mr. thune: mr. president, very soon, the senate is going to be voting on whether or not to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the paying a fair share act of 2012 which would enact the so-called buffett rule. now, it's ironic that we would be debating that subject right now because there are so many other things that we ought to be doing that would actually address the fundamental problems that our economy is facing right now. if you look at the president's focus on this particular issue and you look at the fact that since he has become president, what his economic record consists of, here's what we're looking at. gas prices are up 111% since president obama took office. there are now 38 months in a row where we have had unemployment that exceeded 8%. we have seen college tuition go up by 25%. we have seen health care costs
go up by 23%. the number of people on food stamps in this country is up by 45%. the federal debt that we are handing off to our children and grandchildren is up by 47%. mr. president, that is this president's economic record. so it is ironic that we are here today talking about something that even the white house admits is a gimmick that would do nothing to reduce the federal debt, strengthen the economy or move us towards the fundamental tax reform that is sorely needed for this country. on april 1, just over two weeks ago, america claimed the dubious distinction of having the highest combined corporate tax rate among advanced economies when japan implemented its corporate tax rate reduction. rather than debating how best to reform our tax code to help american companies compete in a global economy, we aric instead spending our time object a politically motivated measure
that everyone knows is not going to become law. before we consider why the buffett rule is bad tax policy let me start by acknowledging how inconsequential this change in law would be. according to the joint committee on taxation, senator whitehouse's bill would raise tax revenue by $47 billion over the next ten years. this means that if the legislation if enacted would raise each year about half of what the federal government spends every single day. i want you to think about that for just a moment, mr. president. president obama has been flying around the country touting the importance of a proposal that if enacted would raise about half of one day's worth of federal spending. so between now and this time tomorrow, we will actually spend more federal tax dollars than what this would bring in in an entire year. in an entire year. put another way, the revenue this legislation would generate each year amounts to .003% of
the national debt. .003% of the federal debt. this bill would raise less than 1% of the $1.4 trillion in deficits projected under the obama administration's budget. it's not about deficit reduction or taking meaningful action to get our fiscal house in order. what then is this legislation about? the president and men and women democrat members of congress stated they believe the buffett rule is about quote tax fairness end quote. this view is wealthy americans are not paying -- quote -- "their fair share. ." the facts simply don't support that view. according to the organization for economic cooperation and development, the united states already has the most progressive income tax system among its 34 member nations. in fact, in 2009 the top 1% of
taxpayers by adjusted gross income paid 37% of all income taxes even though accounted for 17% of all income. the top 5% of taxpayers paid nearly 60% of all income taxes even though they only accounted for about 32% of all income. in 2009, taxpayers with over a million dollars in adjusted gross income accounted for 10% of income reported but paid 20% of income taxes. in terms of effective income taxes rates congressional research service recently reported that the effective tax rate among among millionaires is already 30%. it's true some millionaires like warren buffett pay a lower rate because they get a large percentage of their income from education and dividends. it isn't a tax loophole. it's the result of a deliberate policy by congress and past presidents to encourage new investments in our economy.
had, in fact, if 1997 a democrat president bill clinton signed inta lou law a reduction in the capital gains doubled over the next three years. unemployment fell below 4%. in the increased federal revenue from capital gains helped chief a federal budget surplus. rather than learning a less than that loarlg it, the buffett tax would take us in the opposite direction. the buffett tax is nothing more than more than a back door tax on the capital gains that is earned by upper-income taxpayers. we can debate about how best to encourage new investments and in clean energy and high technology or other important sectors of our economy. but i hope we can all agree that raising taxes on these investments is not the best way
to encourage them. we should bear in mind that the current integrated tax rate is 58%, the fourth highest among oecd nations. it's bad enough america has the highest combined tax rate among developed economies. some supporters of the buffett tax would like us to have the highest tax on investment income as well. simply put, the buffett tax is a solution in search of a problem. wealthy americans are already paying a huge share of income taxes. for that small minority of wealthier americans such as warren buffett who feel compelled to pay higher taxes i propose we make it easier to do so. last october i introduced the buffett rule act of 2010 which currently has 40 cosponsors here in the united states senate. my legislation would create a box on the federal tax form that individuals are businesses could check if they wished to donate
additional dollars to the federal government for debt reduction. we should make it as easy as possible for those who want to pay higher taxes to voluntarily make those payments but let's not impose a new tax on entrepreneurs around small business owners who believe they can spend their own dollars better than washington can. some attempted to characterize this bill as a step towards comprehensive tax reform. i say this bill, i'm talking about the bill that we're going to be voting on later. unfortunately, it is exactly the opposite. comprehensive tax reform is needed for many roars but one reason is because we desperately need to sixify our tax system. how is about a bill that adds a new layer of complexity to our tax code a step towards comprehensive tax reform? it's bad enough that we already have an alfern tiff -- alternative minimum tax that snares millions of american families. the buffett tax would become an alternative minimum tax alternative. it would be a new layer of
unnecessary complexity on top of an already existing layer of unnecessary complexity. we should not forget that the alternative minimum tax was originally plut putt in place back in 1970 to ensure that 155 wealthy americans paid a higher rate of tax. yet this year over four million americans are going to be hit by the alternative minimum tax. in fact, if congress does not act to enact an a.m.t. patch for temporary 2012, the congressional budget office projected more than 30 million americans will be subject to higher taxes due to the alternative minimum tax. clearly, mr. president, congress' record of targeting tax increases at only the wealthy is not very good. the obama administration has taitd stated its intent is for the buffett rule to replace the existing alternative minimum tax. according to an analysis, replacing the existing a.m.t.
with the buffett tax would add nearly $800 billion to the des over the next ten years. it is time for the gimmicks to stop. and time for the senate to get serious about the real tax issues that are facing us. the reality is that would is a $5 trillion tax increase over the next ten years, the largest in history, staring us in the face come next year. if we don't act to extend the lower individual tax rates, the lower rates on capital gains and dividends and other expiring provisions our economy will face a tax increase of over $400 billion just in 2013. allowing the 2001 and 2003 tax rates to expire would be an enormous tax increase on our economy equal to roughly 2.5% of our g.d.p. according to the congressional budget office allowing this tax increase to go into effect would slow g.d.p. growth between .3%
and 2.9%. that would mean the loss of at least 300 jobs and would mean the loss of as as many as 2.9 million jobs. this tax increase could be the difference between a sustained economic recovery and falling back into recession. here we are today discussing a bill that would not extend tax relief for hard-working americans. it would not forestall a massive tax increase on our economy. the bill before us would do one thing and one thing only, and that is target higher taxes on a small subset of our population in order to serve a political purpose. it is time to end the class warfare of pitting one group of americans against another and instead move forward with ensuring that tax relief is there for all americans. i hope that once the cloture motion fails later today, we can pivot to what most american people want to us do, to enact
measures that grow the pie, to expand our shared prosperity rather than the politics of envy and wealth redistribution. the opportunity cost of all these tax the rich proposals offered by our democrat colleagues, whether the millionaire surtax or the buffett tax is they distract us from what should be our focus and that is fundamental tax reform. the former director of the c.b.o., doug holtz-eakin released a study in which he estimated the comprehensive tax reform could raise g.d.p. by .3% tanl anlly. this faster rarity of g.d.p. growth would result in increased federal incomes each year, much more than the buffett tax is projected to raise. so i would say to my democratic colleagues if you want tax policy that raises more federal government revenue, broad-based comprehensive tax reform is the
way to get there. but of course tax reform is going to be difficult and it's going to retire presidential leadership much as it required presidential leadership back in 1986. it is much easier to promote measures like the buffett tax that do nothing to proix our tax code or our economy and make for a good 30-second political ad. i understand why some of my colleagues want us to have this political debate today. but i hope we can quickly move to real pro-growth tax reforms. that would be the best means, mr. president, by which to promote real tax fairness for all americans. i believe all americans want to see this congress working in a way that expands the pie, not redistributes it. we should be looking at ways we can grow the economy and make -- create more jobs for more americans, raise the standard of living, the quality of life that americans enjoy in this country, and it's clear, mr. president, the one way not to do that is to raise taxes on the people who invest and create jobs in this country.
that is precisely what this particular tax would do. it is the wrong approach. it is clearly motivated by political purposes, nothing more than to create a good 30-second political ad in an election year. but if the american people she sea you there threw this, mr. president, they understand what plagues washington, d.c. is not a revenue problem, it is a spending problem. for those who want to pay more, we have a way of doing that. let's enact legislation that allows people in this country who have those kinds of incomes that they choose to to check a box and contribute more in tax revenue toward deficit reduction but let's don't impose and require and mandate these taxes on the people of this country who are creating the jobs and and 40 have an opportunity to help us grow this economy and put more people back to work. that after all is what the american people wantofficer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i've risen many times over the past three years to talk about the bad policy
choices of the obama administration and the harmful effects of these policies on our economy and on the american people. in many ways, the president's decision has made things worse in our country. the bill before us today would impose what's being called the buffett tax. it's just one more example, mr. president, of a policy that will hurt our economy, not help it. this tax will take money from the pockets of small businesses that they would use to create jobs. more than a third of all business income reported on individual returns would be hit by this tax increase. back in september, president obama said that this tax hike on american families would raise enough money -- this is the president said this -- he said it would raise enough money not only to pay for his increased spending but he said -- quote -- "to stabilize our debt and deficits for the next decade." he said back then, he said, "this is not politics." he said -- quote -- "this is
math." well, of course we now know that the buffett tax is about only one thing -- politics. the increased tax revenue would amount to about $5 billion this year, which is about the same amount of money that washington will borrow over the next day and a half. the president would have to collect his so-called buffett tax for more than 200 years just to cover the obama deficit from last year alone. that's not just my math. that's the math from the joint committee on taxation. the buffett tax won't fix washington's debt because washington doesn't have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. even one of president obama's top economic advisors finally admits that the buffett tax will not -- quote -- "bring the deficit down and the debt under control." based on his record, it is clear that the president would not put a single dollar raised by his new tax toward the debt.
he will just spend it. so the president has now changed his story once again. now he says that this is no longer a way to pay down the deficit. now he says it's just a matter of fairness. well, president obama has been using the word "fair" in quite a few of his campaign speeches lately. it's a word of great appeal to most people. just like hope and change, the buzz words of the 2008 presidential campaign, people can interpret it to fit their own meaning. president obama's idea of fairness doesn't match up with the american people's idea of fairness. and senator mcconnell made reference to this today in an editorial that i've written in "investors business daily." president obama thinks it's fair that our children and grandchildren will be burdened with debt because of washington's reckless spending, like borrowing 42 cents of every dollar it spends so far this year. president obama thinks it's fair
to pile another $40,000 of debt on to every household in the united states over the last three years. president obama thinks it's fair to use college students as props for his campaign-style rallies without explaining how his bad policies will leave them in debt. president obama thinks it's fair to force hardworking taxpayers to subsidize a wealthy person's purchase of a hybrid luxury car because it fits into his idea for american energy. president obama thinks it's fair to hand out hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to politically connected solar energy companies that then go bankrupt. president obama thinks it's fair to tell thousands of workers that they won't have jobs because he's blocked the keystone x.l. pipeline. why? to solidify his support of a -- with a few far left environmentalists. president obama thinks it's fair that more than half of his biggest fund-raisers won jobs in
his administration. that's right, more than half. that's been reported in "the washington post." president obama thinks it's fair to give important jobs to people who fail to pay their own taxes, like his own treasury secretary. and apparently president obama thinks it's fair that three years of the obama economy have left us with more people on food stamps, more people in poverty, lower home values, higher gas prices, and higher unemployment. there are many ways in which the american people's understanding of fairness differs from the way that president obama has been using the word. to the vast majority of americans, fair means an equal opportunity to succeed. to president obama, fair requires nothing less than a totally equal outcome, regardless of effort. to most americans, fairness allows for the pursuit of their own dreams. it also recognizes that no man and no government can provide a
guarantee of success. the waves of immigrants who've come to our shores over generations did so for freedom and for a chance to succeed. they did not come to be taken care of and to have every decision made for them by the government. that's what many of them were leaving behind. when president obama pushes for equal outcomes instead of equal opportunity, he is trying to pit one american against another. he is telling people that it is not fair that someone else has something that they don't have. well, that may be a clever campaign tactic but it is not true and it is bad for our country. one person getting more does not mean someone else has to get less. in america, it's possible for all of us to prosper. that's what made america different from the very beginning. the prospect that all of us can do better, not at the expense of
our neighbors but by our own effort. there's something that threatens to keep all of us from success. it is the thing that threatens to keep us all from passing on to our children the hope for their own prosperity. it is the crushing debt, the debt that this administration has been forcing on to the backs of american workers. it is the mountain of bureaucracy that stifles american opportunity. the old maxim says that a rising tide lifts all boats. president obama seems to think it's better to put holes in all of the boats as long as that means that they're all equal in the end. that's what he seemed to be saying in 2008 during one of the democrat presidential debates. moderator charles gibson asked then-senator obama why he favored raising taxes on capital gains. our history clearly showed that when the tax rate has gone up,
government revenues actually went down. senator obama said that he wanted to raise taxes anyway, he said -- quote -- "for purposes of fairness." in the name of achieving what he considers to be fair, the president was willing to hurt millions of hardworking families who already paid taxes on their income, families who invested some of that income and now would have to pay higher taxes again when they decide to sell some of those investments. the president didn't even care if washington ended up with less money as a result of his efforts to punish success. the only important thing was that he thought it would be more fair. now, that's a pretty extreme definition of what "fair" means and it's not one that the american people share. in any fair society, doing better should be a consequence of one's efforts. to president obama, fairness means getting something for nothing.
the american dream is about people using ingenuity, ambition and hard work. it's about overcoming obstacles. americans admire the inventor who works long hours in the garage building and failing and trying again and again until this inventor succeeds. americans speak with pride about having worked their way through college washing dishes, pouring concrete, flipping hamburgers, whatever it took for them to reach their goal. most americans don't speak with pride about being bailed out by washington or cashing a government check. the idea of people earning their success has been a vital part of our nation's character since our founding. it does not come from government , it cannot be redistributed. the more government tries to redistribute success, the more strings it attaches. because a handout from washington always comes with strings attached. the president's health care law is a perfect example.
it's built on shifting millions of people on to medicaid, a program designed to take care of low-income americans. putting more people on medicaid is not the same as giving them access to the medical care that they need. giving people unemployment benefits and funding short-term stimulus jobs is not the same as freeing up employers to hire more workers and provide long-term jobs and actual careers. handing out benefits from washington may provide a safety net in the short run, when the short run turns permanent, it robs people of the tools and incentives they need to succeed. it does even greater damage to our economy when president obama pays for it by piling more debt on the backs of american taxpayers. we all recognize the value of this social safety net. none of us -- i repeat, none of us -- want to eliminate that protection. to be true to this country's greatest traditions, it must be a real safety net to catch people from falling. it must never become a net to ng
tangle those -- entangle those so that they cannot rise, nor a comfortable hammock on which they news to -- they choose to recline. somewhere along the way, washington twisted the honorable american impulse to care for the least fortunate among us. that shift now threatens to produce a culture of dependency, a culture that weakens our society and hurts the people it was meant to help. a half century ago, john f. kennedy appealed to the great spirit of america when he said, "ask not what your country can do for you." he said, "ask what you can do for your country." today the obama administration is trying to make washington irreplaceable in the lives of americans. the great irony, the great tragedy is that no one is more trapped by this failed redistribution than the poorest. the people that the president so often claims to be trying to help. that's part of the downside to the culture of dependency. it's why washington company never provide for people as well
as people could and should provide for themselves. president obama is focusing on fixing all the faults he sees in the american people. republicans are focusing on giving the american people the opportunity to succeed using their talents and their hard work. when washington tells people, don't worry, your government will take care of all your needs, it does them no service. it only deprives people of their freedoms, their freedoms to make their own choices, to stand on their own two feet and to earn their success. the american people don't want washington to pick winners and losers, they want a fair chance to win on their own. that's why asking for a clear and a limited set of rules and the assurance that those rules apply to all of us, even those who donate to president obama's reelection campaign. they're asking that the rules not change on the whims of some unelected bureaucrat in washington. they want to know that they will have the right to control
people's own choices. president obama says it's fair for washington to make the decisions so that everyone is equal in the end. he says it's fair to take more money from hardworking families and small businesses through the so-called buffett tax that we're debating today. mr. president, tax increases won't help our fragile economy, and they won't put the brakes on washington's out-of-control spending. republicans want to promote economic growth for everyone, not equality of outcome at everyone's expense. despite what president obama may believe, america is not an unfair place. true fairness requires equal opportunity so that all may pursuearpursue their american d. that is the philosophy that must be allowed to lead to us a more prosperous future for all. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.
the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: mr. president, i rise to speak on the buffett rule. mr. president, how much time is allocated to me? the presiding officer: there are 18 minutes remaining on your side of the aisle. ms. mikulski: mr. president, i'll take five minutes, no more than five minutes. mr. president, i support the buffett rule because i do believe in fundamental fairness that if you live in the united states of america, that you benefit from the united states of america, both its national security and its public institutions and the public progress, because of that, like public education, land-grant colleges, that you need to pay your fair share. this is what america is all about: fairness and that we're
all in it together. now, let's talk -- i've heard all afternoon about oh, this hardworking entrepreneur and oh, this hardworking small business. mr. president, nobody gets to be that hardworking entrepreneur without the united states of america. they've gone to public schools, they've enjoyed public transportation, i could go through a variety of public institutions, safety in our dam, now cybersecurity, wars that are fought by our military four forh they won't go or will never go. so, mr. president, we need to have a way of paying our bills. when we hear the great president john f. kennedy quoted, saying "ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country," it's called pay your share. now, let's talk about what the
buffett rule actually is and what the gentleman from rievme e island is advocating, and i salute him for offering it. this would ensure that high-earning americans who make more than $1 million a year pay at least 30% income tax on their effective rate on their second million. let me repeat what this is. your first million you keep at the same tax rate that it is right this afternoon. what we're talking about is changing the tax rate not on your first million but on your second million. now, i don't think that stifles enpreen neuroship --en entrepreneurship. i don't think it breaks the neck of small business.
what the small business needs is not more tax breaks; they need more customers, which is about more jobs. noso, mr. president, i think ths bill really talks about this fairness. it would phase in additional tax liability for taxpayers earning between $1 million and $2 billion to avoid a tax cliff. and they're saying, oh, well, let us keep our money so we can give it to charity. this preserves the incentive for charitable giving and, quite frankly, from what we're told, the highest-earning 400 americans make about $270 million each. they're the ones that paid an effective tax rate of 18%. now, just think. you make $270 million. that's not exactly the entrepreneur in a garage. that's not exactly that small
business person, a florist or, like my grandmother running this polish bakery or like my father with his little grocery store. $270 million each. they pay 18%. so here it is, april 16, they pay 18%. and that, by the way, is the rules. all we're saying is, you can pay that 18% on your first million, but on that second million, you got to get into the game and start to pay 30%. i think that this is a great idea, and i want my colleagues to be able to -- i want my colleagues when we vote for cloture to be able to do this. the buffett rule supports fairness in the tax code so executives don't pay a lower rate than the people who work in the mailroom or in the fedex trucks delivering their
products. it doesn't kick in until your second million and then it is phased in slowly. now, a lot has been said, we don't want these handouts from maryland -- from the federal government. it wrecks our entrepreneurship, our get up and go. i don't believe that. i don't believe that at all. because if that were true, then why is it with these handouts -- who et goes the big of the handouts in our country? those who get tax earmarks -- we eliminated them in the appropriations committee. but we're yet to eliminate them in the tax code. look how hard it was to get rid of the ethanol subsidy. oh, my gosh, when we wanted to get rid of the oil and gas subsidy, you would think that we were darth vader on the senate floor. so every time we want to take away a lavish tax break that
only happens a few get more, we're stymied or stifled because actually, if they employed as many people in their businesses as they employ lobbyists in washington, we would be able to lower the unemployment rate. so the other party is willing to bring us often to the brink of what our -- of default. remember when we were dealing with detect ceiling rather than -- with debt ceiling rather than taxing billionaires. and we continue now have that same fight. mr. president, this legislation that we would pass is a modest down payment on reforming the tax code. we do have to make it fairer. this is a firm way to be able to do it. sure, we've got to look at the corporate tax code. we've got to look at how to bring expatriot money oversize and -- overseas and bring it home. we have to acknowledge
entrepreneurship and reward the special challenges. but that's long-range and under the arcane refusals our senate, we are now so stymied in bringing up this legislation, we could at least take one giant step forward to make our tax code fairer by passing the legislation called the buffett rule, named after warren buffett, one of our great american people, a guy who really gives capitalism real meaning in our country. but he says, let me pay and people like me pay the same rate of taxes as my administrative assistant in the front office. i think buffett had a goods idea. -- had a good idea. let's codify it. let's pass it in the senate today. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the snoer from arizona. mr. kyl: thank you. mr. president, let's ask
ourselves a question. what's the purpose of taxes? do we tax people to punish them for their success or do we do it to raise revenue for the government? well, the answer of course is that at least up to now the purpose of taxes is to raise the revenue that the government needs to perform its duties. and to do that in the least harmful way possible. president obama, however, has a different idea about the purpose of taxes. he thinks the government should take more from some people just because they're rich. even if the tax increases hurt the economy. so this week the senate will vote on what's called the pay a fair share act, or as described by president obama, the buffett tax. this legislation would create a new 30% alternative minimum tax for filers who make $1 million
or more, which would include many successful small businesses. unfortunately, the legislation would hurt small businesses more than it would raise revenue for the government. today i want to talk about why this legislation is fundamentally misguided and why it would be harmful to businesses, workers, and the economy. the buffett tax may make for good politics for president obama on the campaign trail but it's bad policy. it is deeply flawed. first, let's start with its premise. there is a key misconception about warren buffett's tax rate. the notion that plr buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the tax code. mr. buffett, and i would add many older americans, be atains most of his income from investments. that income is taxed at the capital gains rate. mr. buffett and president obama would have us believe that capital gains income gets
preferential treatment in the tax code. but that doesn't tell the real story. capital income is actually taxed twice. first its taxed at the 35% rate that corporations pay on their income. it's taxed, money is paid to the government. and then it's taxed again when the distribution of capital gains or dividends is made to the investors, when it's passed on to shareholders as dividends or capital gains. that means the tax rate is already far higher than 30%. it is actually not 30% plus 15%, but it is higher than 30%, and it's closer to 45%. president obama ignores these facts when he says mr. buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. you have to count it twice, not just the second time. and that leads me to my second
point. the fairness of the current tax code: does it really favor the wealthy at the expense of oh, as president obama argues? -- at the expense of others, as president obama argues? perhaps one could cherry-pick some statistics to show that pun person or another pays more or less. but the actual tax numbers show the real progressivity of the american internal revenue code, and interestingly enough, among all the industrialized countries in the world, ours is the most progressive. in other words, the u.s. tax -- income tax code has the wealthier people paying a far higher percentage of income taxes than any other country in the industrialized world. yes, even more than sweden and even more than france and even more than the other countries in europe. according to congressional budget office data, the average tax rate paid by middle-income
earns is 14.2%. in contrast, the average tax rate paid by a high-income american is 351.2% -- is 31.2%, more than twice as much. so the average tax that the secretary or somebody else like that might make, 14.2%. the average tax paid by high-income americans, 31.2%. incidentally, president obama's effective tax rate this wreer is 20.-- this year is 20.5%. should he be paying more? or is that enough? he's golt i don't think a toug. here's some other interesting tax facts. the top 1% of taxpayers pays 38% of total income taxes, actually i think these numbers are dated. it is now closer to 40%. and that top 1% of taxpayers only earns 20% of the total income. so here's the question of fairness:
you've got the top 1%, now, they are the top 1% because they earn the top 20% of all income, the top fifth. but they pay almost twice as much in taxes. 38% in total income taxes. how about the top 2%? well, they pay 48.68%, nearly 50%, in other words, of income taxes. and they earn 27.95% of total income. so you got the top 2% paying almost half of all income taxes. is that fair? the top 5% pays 58.7%, earns 34.7. the top 10% pays 69.9, let's say 70%. you've got the top 10% of taxpayers paying 70% of all the taxes, earning 45% of the income. those are certainly the wealthy, and they're certainly paying a
big share. how about less wealthy? the bottom 95% -- in other words, everybody but the top 5% -- pays 41.3% of income taxes, earns 65% of the money, of the income. is this fair? maybe it's not fair that the top 2% pay almost half of all the income taxes. how much would be fair? should they pay 90%? 95%? how about 50% of households that pay no taxes and yet receive the same or greater benefits than those who do? is that fair? the joint committee on taxation estimates that 51% of all households which includes both filers and nonfilers had either zero or negative income tax liability in 2009. people who do not share in the
sacrifice of paying taxes have little direct incentive to care whether the government is spending and taxing too much. maybe that's why the president has no problem with even more americans getting a free ride. here are a few more statistics. the highest 1% of income earners has not seen the share of the income tax burden decline. in fact, their share of income is essentially the same as it was in 2000, but their share of taxes paid is higher. collectively only taxpayers with incomes greater than $100,000 a year pay a share of taxes that is greater than their share of income. actually, mr. president, i think it's hard to argue that our current tax code that taxes the wealthy to such a high degree is unfair. while the president says it is not fair, i find it interesting that his own treasury secretary seems to agree that the current system is fair. let me read a portion of the transcript from a finance
committee hearing with secretary geithner earlier this year. i asked him, "do you think it's fair that the top 1% of earners in the united states pay just about 40% of income taxes?" secretary geithner's response: "i do because i don't see how the alternatives are more fair." next i asked him if he thought it was fair that the top 3% pay as much as the other 97% of taxpayers in income tax, and secretary geithner responded again, "i do." so, mr. president, if we want an income tax system that's fair, according to the obama administration's own standards, we already have it. the argument the top tier earners aren't doing enough just doesn't hold water. the third problem with the buffett tax is that it would harm many small businesses. according to the most recent treasury department data, 392,000 tax returns reported income of $million or more.
of those, 331,000 reported business income and 311,000 met the treasury's did he definitiof business owner. this is a tax that would disproportionately affect smalll businesses and other job creators. four out of five tax filers that would be affected by the buffett tax are the very businesses we are counting on to lead us back to an economic recovery. if enacted, these tax increases would have real negative effect on employers trying to create jobs. and this isn't just my opinion. take, for example, the international franchise association which recently said this: franchise business owners could be significantly challenged to grow and create new jobs as a result of the buffett rule. a tax increase on individuals and small business owners. it continued -- quote -- "taxing job creators will seriously impede the built of franchise businesses to expand their operations and create new jobs,
particularly multiunit franchise operators and the majority of franchise businesses who file their business income on their own personal tax return." so these are the very folks the treasury department identified as paying taxes as individuals but who are in fact business owners. under current law, a massive tax increase on income capital gains and dividends is already set to occur on january 1 of next year. in addition, under obamacare, some americans will be hit with a 3.8% investment surcharge beginning next year. imagine what all of these taxes will do to small businesses and start-up companies. but that's not enough new taxing for president obama in his war against investments and success. according to economist steven enton, tax increase on capital are some of the most destructive to the economy. he estimates tax hikes on capital gains, dividends and the
top two individual tax rates which are already scheduled to occur in 2013 will shrink the economy by 6%, will lower wages by 5%, will decrease capital stock by almost 16%, and will lose the federal government almost $100 billion in tax revenue. adding an additional buffett tax on capital will only decrease wages and economic growth even further. why is this? because high taxes on income, particularly investment income, depress capital formation. there are fewer investments which damages the abilities of business to grow, to create jobs, or to pay higher wages. i challenge my colleagues to ask a room full of economists this question: does increasing the cost of capital lead to higher or lower economic growth and job creation? well, the answer is obvious. as president kennedy said when he endorsed a capital gains tax cut -- quote -- "the tax on
capital gains tkprebgtly affects investment decisions, the ability and risk flow of capital as well as the ease or difficulty experienced by new ventures in obtaining capital and thereby the strength and potential for growth in the economy." end of quote. it's also important to remember that we're not making tax policy in a vacuum here. we're competing for capital and investments with every other nation on earth. the president has conceded that our high corporate tax rate harms our international competitiveness and has expressed tepid support for lowering it but those benefits would be erased if capital gains taxes are increased dramatically. as the "wall street journal" points out, -- and i quote -- "lowering the corporate tax rate makes the u.s. more competitive, but the tax change itself defeating if it's combined with an even larger rise in the investment income taxes on capital gains and dividends." end of quote. according to a recent ernst & young study, the independent
rate on capital gains is already over 50%, 50.8%, more than twice the rate in china, for example. if congress does nothing, capital gains rates will rise again to 56.7% next year. that's the second-highest in the world. if the buffett tax increase is layered on top, taxes will consume almost two-thirds of capital gains and will have the highest integrated rate by far of any of our international competitors. we have to remember in a mobile world economy, capital is highly mobile. does anyone believe that such a confiscatory capital gains rate imposed by the buffett tax wouldn't lead to less investment in the united states and more in other countries? somebody said this isn't just shooting ourselves in the foot. it's shooting ourselves in the head. fourth, let me address president
obama's suggestions that it constitutes tax reform and president reagan would have supported it. i think i could imagine president reagan responding there you go again. "the washington post" has a fact checker op-ed. here's how they set the record straight on president obama's claim that he was pushing the same concept. his words as president reagan, quote, "washington post." "contrary to obama's suggestion that president reagan was specifically arguing for a new tax provision aimed at the super wealthy, reagan was barn storming the country in an effort to reduce taxes for all americans, mainly by cutting rates, simplifying the tax system and eliminating tax shelters that allows some people to avoid paying any taxes at all. in other words, reagan was pushing for a tax cut for everyone, not just an increase on a few. obama and reagan did use similar
an -- antidotes. it should never be confused with a gimmick like the buffett tax. i'd thraoeubg show how higher capital gains taxes have a negative effect on revenue. ever since the bipartisan capital gains cut in 1978, a pattern has repeated itself over and over again. raising the capital gains rate reduces revenues. lowering it has led to revenue increases. that's partly because capital gains taxes are an elective tax. the tax is only paid when investors sell their assets and frequently they wait to sell their assets for the rates to go down when it will cost them less to sell those assets. the "wall street journal" recently produced a chart to this effected, and i'm going to
summarize it. in 1978, president carter signed an amendment into law which cut the capital gains rate from 40% to 28%. what was the result? less revenue? no. revenue from capital gains increased by nearly $3 billion. yet, the rate was reduced. congress cut the capital gains rate again to 20% in 1981 as part of the reagan tax cuts, as the journal notes, revenue did not fall in 1982. by 1983, capital gains revenue soared to 18.7 billion dollars. the lower rate, higher revenue. in 1986 the capital gains tax rate was returned to 28% as part of the tax reform package, and guess what? revenues soared as investors cashed in their gains before the tax increase hit. and then plunged in 1987. the point is investors get to play. they get to decide. when the rate goes down, they can sell their property with
less cost. when the rate goes up, they hang on to their property. they don't sell it because they'll have to pay more when they do. in 1997, president clinton and congressional republicans cut the rate back to 20% and revenues from capital gains doubled by the year 2000 to $127.63 billion. as the journal notes -- and i quote -- "congress shouldn't be fooled by government forecasters who predict a revenue boom from a higher capital gains rate. they've blown this call every time." end of quote. my last point addresses what the buffett tax would do for the federal debt. the answer is next to nothing. let's examine the nonpartisan joint committee on taxation's estimate of the revenue that would be raised from the buffett tax. bear in mind that these estimates do not include the effect on economic growth which could dramatically reduce rather than raise federal revenues as history has shown. let's take the score at face
value. even without counting the negative impact on the economy, the buffett tax would raise a mere pittance in the scope of federal budgets. when president obama first proposed the tax, he declared that it could raise enough money -- could raise enough money to stabilize our debt and deficits for the next decade. he said "this is not politics. it's math." well, let's look at the math. the joint committee on taxation estimate shows that the buffett tax would raise only about $1 billion this year. so instead of a deficit this year of $1,079,000,000,000, we'd have a deficit of $1,078000,000,000 that. doesn't exactly raise enough money to stabilize our debt and deficits for the next decade, as the president said. over the first five years, the joint tax committee shows that the buffett tax would collect about $14.7 billion.
to put it into perspective, that would amount to less than.08% of the projected national debt in five years. in the year 2014, the proposal is estimated to actually lose over $6 billion in revenue. why is this? again, because capital gains taxes are largely voluntary. the investors targeted by the buffett tax are generally able to decide when to sell an asset. they can manipulate their sale to stay below the triggering threshold of $1 million in the bill. this produces a lock-in effect on capital as investments stay stagnant. so what's the end result? little, if any, revenue is actually raised. business investments decline. in turn, wages and hiring decline. again, if the purpose of taxes is to raise needed revenue rather than punish people, this bill completely flunks the test. so while this proposed tax
increase might make some people feel good, it won't solve any of our budget problems. it will likely destroy jobs and growth. and as history has shown, depressed economic growth from a tax increase will likely make our budget problems even worse than they are now. so in conclusion, mr. president, the economy as we know is limping along at an anemic growth rate. gas is $4 a gallon or more and 20 million americans are unemployed or underemployed. the economic downturn has taken a huge toll on american families. they want washington to focus on legislation that will have an impact on jobs and gas prices. instead, we're debating a show bill that has no chance of passing, wouldn't create a single american job. what happened to jobs, jobs, jobs? remember that three-letter word, jobs?
the president claims to be focused like a laser on the economy. instead, it appears that there is only one job that he is focused on with this political proposal. i submit that here in the senate, mr. president, we should be focused on jobs and energy legislation that can pass, not tax hikes through showboats that are designed to fail. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: thank you, mr. president. and i rise in strong support of the paying a fair share act, and i commend senator whitehouse for introducing this important legislation. mr. president, it is absurd that at a time when our country has a $15 trillion national debt and enormous unmet needs, the wealthiest people in this country have an effective tax
rate that is lower than many middle-class workers. it makes no sense that the richest 400 people in our country who earned an average of more than $270 million each in 2008 pay an effective tax rate of just 18%, which is less than many small business men, nurses, teachers, police officers, et cetera. that is wrong from a moral perspective. it is also very bad economic policy. but, mr. president, the issue we are debating today really speaks to a much larger crisis that is taking place in america, and that is that in many important ways, the united states is departing from its democratic
tradition which has always included a strong and growing middle class and is moving rapidly into an oligarchic form of government in which almost all wealth and power reside in the hands of the very richest people in our society, the top 1%. that, mr. president, is not what america is supposed to be about. let me mention to you a recent study which shows not only why we should pass this buffett rule, but why we should go, in fact, much further. an economist at the university of california, professor emmanuel sayez, studying tax returns, found that in 2010, 93% of all new income generated during that year went to the top
1%. let me repeat that. between 2009 and 2010, the last year we have statistics on this issue, 93% of all new income went to the top 1%. while the rest of the people, the bottom 99% were able to receive 7%. even more incredible is the fact that 37% of that new income went to the top .01%. in other words, of the $309 billion in new income gained in 2010, $288 billion went to the top 1%.
only $21 billion in new income went to the bottom 99%. mr. president, today the top 1% earns over 20% of all income in this country, which has more -- is more than the bottom 50%. in terms of distribution of wealth, accumulated income, as hard as it may be for us to believe as a country which believes in mobility, in a country which believes in equality, today we have a situation where the 400 wealthiest people in america now own more wealth than the bottom half of america, 150 million people. 400 people here own more wealth than the bottom 150 million americans, and that gap between
the very rich and everybody else is now wider than it has been in this country since the late 1920's, and we have by far the most unequal distribution of income and wealth of any major country on earth. so that is where we are today as a nation, and it is not a good place to be. the richest people and largest corporations are doing phenomenally well, while the middle class is collapsing and poverty increases. this is not what democracy looks like. this is what oligarchy and pliew stock -- plutocracy look like. to compound this extremely unfair situation, when millionaires and billionaires are paying the lowest effective tax rate for the rich in decades, our deficit problems only grow worse.
in other words, not only are the real and effective tax rates for the rich lower than many middle-class workers, their low effective tax rates are having a very negative impact on our deficit. in fact, today, as a result of the tax breaks given to the wealthy and large corporations, revenue as a percentage of g.d.p. is at 14.8%, the lowest in more than 50 years. so, mr. president, let us pass the buffett rule today, but let us do much more in the future. instead of cutting social security, medicare, medicaid, education and other programs of vital importance to middle-class and working families in this
country, as many of my republican colleagues would like to do, let us develop a personal and corporate tax policies which are fair and which protect the best interests of our country. nobody should be talking about maintaining huge tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires and in the same breath talk about cutting social security, medicare, medicaid, the needs of our children and the needs of the most vulnerable people in our country. that is wrong and that is not what america is about. and with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: how much time remains? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island has three minutes.
mr. whitehouse: and on the republican side? the presiding officer: and the republicans have four minutes. mr. whitehouse: it's my understanding, mr. president, that there are no further speakers on the republican side, so if somebody does come, i will, of course, yield the four minutes, but the latest report is that there are no further speakers until we move on to the judicial nomination. i just wanted to use the time that remains to respond to two of the points that have been made. before i do that, let me just say that, as i have kept track during the debate, the minority party has discussed debt, bureaucracy, presidential appointments, punishment of success, obamacare, jobs, fuel prices, picking winners and losers, campaign contributions,
out-of-control spending, equal opportunity and massive new tax increases. the subject at hand is actually much smaller than this, and that is the undisputed and indisputable fact that at the very, very high end of the american income spectrum, people are paying lower tax rates than regular american families. whether it's warren buffett's self-proclaimed example of paying only 11% in total taxes or the average of all the 400 highest income earners in the country being only 18.2%. these are people earning, in the case of the 400, over a quarter of a billion dollars each in one year, and paying the rate equivalent to what a single rhode island truck driver pays. that's the issue. we should have a progressive tax code. now, one of the speakers has said that we do have a progressive tax code, that the
income tax generates 31.2% of the total income tax revenue from high-income folks versus 14.2% from the middle as their rate. but it's worth focusing on the fact that when my republican colleagues talk about taxes and they focus on income taxes, they leave out the payroll taxes that virtually every american pays, that a great number of americans pay. more pay payroll taxes than pay an income tax, i believe. and if you look at all of those taxes and you put them together, you find that the top 1% of americans do indeed pay 28.3% of the taxes. 1% pays 28.3% of the taxes, and that sounds pretty progressive
until you realize that the top 1% in america controls more than a third of the nation's wealth. the top 1% holds more than a third of the nation's wealth but pays only 28% of the taxes. that's not progressive if you're measuring in what you're usually taxing, which is income and wealth, not just the existence of a human being on the planet. if you go to 5%, then the top 5% pay 44.7% of all of our taxes, which, again, is a lot and is progressive, but not when you consider that that 5% owns or controls more than 60% of the nation's wealth. we are a country in which more than half of the wealth of the country, more than 60% of the wealth of the country is concentrated in the hands of 1/20 of the population, the top 5%. and so for them to pay a higher
rate makes a lot of logical sense, and what you find is that they actually pay a lower rate all too often. the other point that i'd like to address is the argument that this will take money from the pockets of small businesses. if you look at the office of taxation and the treasury's definition of what a small business is and look at how many would be affected by this bill, it would be 3.3%. nearly 97% of small businesses would have zero effect from this bill. and of the 3.3% that would be affected, it's hard to know how many of those are simply high-income individuals who have incorporated themselves for tax purposes but don't fit the ordinary definition of a small business.
when you look at the fact that americans across this country have spent the last week sitting down, going through their receipts, filing their tax returns, sitting at the kitchen table, trying to make sense of it all and trying to get it filed on time, for a great number of those folks, what they know from warren buffett and from others is that the people making a quarter of a billion dollars a year are paying lower rates than they do, and that's not right. it's not just me saying that that's not right. it's ronald reagan saying that that's not right. ronald reagan said that it was crazy, to use his words, crazy that a millionaire should pay a lower tax rate than a bus driver pays. and it's equally crazy that a truck driver should pay a lower rate --
the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island has exhausted his time. the senator from tennessee is here to speak. mr. whitehouse: very well. i will yield the floor to the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: how much time am i acquiring? the presiding officer: one minute. mr. corker: i will speak very briefly. this last march, 64 senators, 32 on each side, wrote a letter to the president asking for real tax reform and real entitlement reform. i think most of us know that today's exercise is a political exercise. it's not intended to deal with deficits. it's intended to divide. i heard the president speaking to a college in florida last week about the buffett tax. and in that speech he was talking about spending all of that money on things that they were interested in. in other words, this money is not being used per the president's speech in any way to
reduce deficits. i would just encourage all of those on both sides of the aisle, 32 senators on each side, that have spoken earnestly and sincerely about pro-growth tax reform and entitlement reform to not follow this folly of division but but to hold together as we need to to do something that is great for our country, and it's my hope that by later this year, possibly lame duck, although i hope that something happens sooner than that, all of us who really care about solving problems, not about scoring political points, which this bill is about, will come together and do something great together and do something great
>> why is israel such a powerhouse economically? and egypt so far away? then i read a book by a former professor. it was called the wealth and poverty of nations. and he tracks the history of civilizations that grew to become dominant, powerful, and then how they declined. after about 500 pages of analysis, he says roughly these words. he said, if you can learn anything at all from the history of economic development of the world, it is theirs. culture makes all the difference. what people believe, their principles, what motivates them, will guide them, that makes all the difference in the world. [applause]
[applause] the culture of america, the principles of america were established by founders like that one. when they wrote the declaration of independence, and the constitution, their insight suggests that they were brilliant and inspired. as they wrote words that have changed america, made us exceptional, and changed the world. they said the creator endowed us with our rights, not the government, not the king, but the creator. [cheers] [applause] >> among those rights were like and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. we are free with personal freedoms. we have the capacity to represent people in government. that is liberty. but we also have the right to pursue happiness as we choose.
rather than having the government guide our course in life, or the circumstance of birth determining what we can achieve, americans would be free to pursue their dreams. some of the greatest success stories in american history are people who started off with nothing but an idea and a corner in the garage. and who then built enterprises and employing hundreds or even thousands of americans. this freedom has propelled america to be the most powerful economy in the world. the reason this president has had such a hard time understanding what it takes to get the economy going again, if he doesn't understand the power and impact of economic freedom. [applause] [applause] piece by piece come, he has waged war on economic freedom of
this country. you think about this. when you have a government that every year adds one jillion dollars to the debt, you are crushing the freedom of the next generation. when you have a government like this one who says they want to raise taxes from 35% to 40%, by the way, do you know what proportion of our private sector workforce works in businesses that are taxed at the individual tax rate? that 35% rate, which he wants to take to 40%, 54% of american workers, work in businesses and are taxed as individuals. if you raise the tax rate, it kills jobs and economic freedom. the. [applause] [laughter] and then there is vice president biden. he proposed a new global tax, but he likes the idea of a global tax.
the president, of course, is going across the nation and campaigning to raise taxes on investment. and taxes, by their definition, limit our freedom. they should be as small as possible, do those things that are absolutely essential. like protecting our national security, providing for our schools, caring for those who can't care for themselves. [applause] [applause] deficits limit on economic freedom. regulation -- you have to have regulations to make a marketplace work. you have to have rules and regulations. the regulations they get too large can overwhelm the enterprises that you are trying to encourage. when our friends in washington passed a bill known as .-dot frank, because they say they want to -- they are concerned about these things, they don't understand that what they did is
make it harder, not on the big banks, but the community banks. to make it harder for them to renegotiate with homeowners to stay in their homes. they make it harder for banks to compete. guess what happened? the bigger banks got bigger and the community banks were one of the most badly hurt. we are seeing an insinuation of regulators throughout our economy making it harder and harder for enterprises to accomplish their mission and put people to work. crushing economic freedom. i mean, we built an interstate highway system once. we built the hoover dam. today, we can't even build a pipeline, for pete's sakes. [applause] [applause] there was a time we were known as the manufacturing headquarters of the world. largest exporter in the world. now we are known for being the lawsuit capital of the world. there was a time, by the way,
our schools were so superb that our kids are the best educated in the world. now, one half of all the kids in our 50 largest cities won't even graduate from high school. it is just criminal to see what is happening as a result of policies when washington gets larger and larger and doesn't respect free enterprise and freedom. president obama thinks the economy is struggling because the stimulus wasn't big enough. the economy is struggling because government is too big, and we are going to bring it down to size. [applause] [applause] [cheers] [applause] >> this campaign is just getting going. it is going to be fun. [cheers] [cheers] [applause] [applause] >> and the contrast could not be bigger. he said the other day this is
going to be a defining election. that is one thing i agree with him on. we have a very different vision for america. one thing, we must cap, balance and help the budget. [applause] [cheers] [applause] [cheers] >> and people say -- people say how are you going to do that? and i say, well, what we will do is start off by taking all the programs we have and say which of them can we not just slow the rate of growth in? which ones can we eliminate, get rid of, but altogether? the first on the list is obamacare. [cheers] [applause] [cheers] [applause] [cheers] [cheers] [cheers] [applause] [applause] >> there are other programs we
are going to keep because they are important. but we are not going to have the run at the federal level. we are going to send them back to the states where the state can determine how to fashion them to meet the needs of their own people. for instance, you know how many federal workforce training programs we have. forty-nine. forty-nine. forty-nine reporting to eight different agencies. take the money. send it back to the states. let the states crafted their own programs for their own people. [cheers] [applause] [applause] >> and by the way, what is left, bring it down to size. make it smaller. we have too many federal employees, we will cut it by at least 10%.
and what government pays, we will pay it in the private sector. [applause] >> the president wants to raise taxes. i want to lower taxes. i want a 20% across-the-board reduction in taxes and a simplification plan. [applause] >> the president has a view on energy. he said the other day that he likes all of the above. and i thought about that for a moment. it's like, well, maybe what he means is that he likes all the sources of energy above the ground. so wind and solar. we like wind and solar too, but we also like sources of energy below the ground, oil, natural gas and coal. we are going to become energy independent. [applause] kiar. [applause] i don't think that there has ever been a presidency that has been more attuned to the people that provided money to his party. which are the private sector unions, the private lawyers, he
said we are not going to open up american markets for new goods in the last three years, china and the european union nations have opened up 44 different trade agreements, we've opened up none. the three week out were negotiated by his predecessor, george w. bush. that is because -- no question, the unions don't like these trade agreements. and of course, you have the decision by the national labour relations board telling boeing you can't build a factory in a right to work state. that is what special interests are telling him what to do. of course, he took some of your money to invest in the businesses of people who contributed in his campaign. people say he likes to pick winners and losers, but i say no, he likes to just picked losers. [cheers] [cheers]
>> the right course for america's economy is not to have the government trying to guide the economy and pick winners and losers or two bow to the special interests that paid for their campaigns. the right course for america's economy is to return to consumer driven free-market spirit and i will get that job done. >> the president says he wants to transform america. i don't want to transform america. i want to restore it to america the principles that made us the hope of the earth. [applause] [applause] and if i am so fortunate that i can become president of this country, i will endeavor to unite america again. i will not do as this president is doing, dividing us at every
occasion, attacking one american after the other, trying to find one scapegoat and someone, by virtue of attacking them, can divert from his failures economically. i will bring america together, because i do believe that we are one nation under god. [cheers] [cheers] [applause] [applause] [cheers] [applause] [cheers] [applause] >> if i am so fortunate to become president, i will not apologize for success here at home. [cheers] [applause] >> and i will certainly not
apologize for america's success abroad. this nation -- this nation has done more to free people from tyranny by virtues that the great founders had in mind. we have no reason to apologize for the greatness of america. [applause] [applause] >> the founders expected us to not only live by the principles about which they row, but also to preserve them and protect them. and over the centuries, over 1 million men and women have paid the ultimate sacrifice. they have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of those principles and freedoms. it is an image in my mind, as i recognize that the great majority of the people in this country, i think all the people in this country, revere those
who have fought and died for the preservation of our liberty. i remember, i was serving in as the governor of my state towards the end of my term. we got a call from the airport saying that the remains of one of our soldiers, killed in iraq, as i recall, is being sent back to massachusetts. he was coming in on a u.s. airways flight. the parents had been called, but they lived too far away to get to the airport to receive the body, and they wondered if i could come in their stead. because my office was closer to the airport. i said of course. we went to the airport and drove onto the tarmac. the u.s. airways jet came in and stopped at the terminal in boston, and the people about the aircraft and the luggage came down the conveyor belt. and then the casket appeared and came down the conveyor belt. i put my hand over my heart, and
the state troopers i was with saluted. and i happen, as i was there, very emotional, to look up at the big glass wall there in the terminal in boston. it seems that the people who got up the aircraft had seen all the police cars on the tarmac, so they wind up against the windows. the people walking down the hall saw people lined up against the glass, so they crowded in behind them. him. there was quite a crowd. every person i saw had their hand on their heart. we are a patriotic people. we love this country. when i think of america, i think of scenes like that where we come together. we need a president who will not attack fellow americans. someone who will bring us together. [applause] [applause] [applause]
[applause] [applause] [applause] you know, it is always making me feel a little taller and stand a little straighter, to know that we have a gift that no one else in the world has. we are american. something we have always known. people around the world now that there is something very special about america. it means something different to each of us, but it means something special to all of us. today, some question that around the world. maybe some of us question that. we are bringing back that confidence and commitment and our love for america. [applause]
[applause] >> and making sure that that destiny is consistent with their principles. we are doing that because we believe in america. we believe in the principles that make this nation to nation it is. we love america. we are going to bring it back because of her condition in america. we are going to make sure it are those principles are willing to work and we take back this great country and keep america as it has always been. the hope of the earth. thank you so much. you guys are terrific. thank you. thank you. thank you. >> thank you. [music playing] [music playing] [music playing] [music playing]
time on c-span three and c-span.org. >> actor and political activist alec baldwin is urging federal funding for arts and education. at the national press club today, he emphasized the importance of art to the american economy. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon, and welcome to the national press club. my name is teresa warner, and i am without 105th president of the national press club. we are the world's leading professional organization for journalists. mature professions future while fostering a free press worldwide. for more information about the national press club, please visit our website at www..-dot
press.org. to donate to our programs, offered to the public or national press club journalism institute, please visit www.press.org/institute. on behalf of our members worldwide, i would like to welcome our speaker, and those of you attending today's event. our head table includes guest of our speaker as well as working journalists who are club members. if you hear applause from the audience, please note that members of the general public are attending. so it isn't necessarily a lack of journalistic activity. i would like to welcome our audience and public radio audiences. our luncheons are also featured on our weekly podcast from the national press club available on itunes. you can follow the action on twitter using hash tag. after the press conference
concludes, we will have a q&a session. now it's time to introduce our head table guests. isps want you to stand up briefly as your name is announced. from your right, j. michaels, nyack hawkins, todd herman, vanity fair, mary mulligan, reuters, monica hopkins, el dorado pictures, nora helprin, americans for the arts, alison fitzgerald, freelance journal and speaker committee chair, i will skipper speaker for just a moment. the committee members who organize the luncheon, nina. [inaudible] , americans for the arts, nikki schwab, washington examiner, bob madigan, wto p., pam stevens, msnbc.
[applause] >> our guest today is an award-winning actor, producer, actor and author. he has starred on alec baldwin's and on broadway. he has also starred on the hit television show alec baldwin's. he is a well-known frequent flyer and american airlines. >> mr. baldwin is a member of the americans for the arts artist committees, and serves as
the 25th annual nancy hanks lecture on art and public policy. he's in washington this week working with the committee. he is also a board member of the people for the american way, and a strong supporter of the animal rights group peta. mr. baldwin lives in new york city, has one daughter and is recently engaged. mr. baldwin canal add national press club luncheon speaker to that weighty list of a competent. perhaps that comes from some of his college years, spent at george washington university. mr. baldwin has been mentioned as a candidate for public office. this might be the right place to make that announcement. [laughter] >> mr. baldwin? >> thank you very much to teresa warner and everyone at the
national press club, and thank you for having me as your guest. >> thank you for having me or -- as your guest. i started -- before we get that, let's talk about american airlines and why we are friends. i know that is precisely what you want to talk about. [laughter] >> it is not lost on me that while i was being admonished for using my phone while we were parked at the gate, some dear friend of mine, some colleague of yours from fox news, i am deeply, deeply, admiringly -- we were actually about ready to take off when i was sending a text.
which is not true. while we were in the plane i was using my phone, and then i was asked to leave the plane. i want to tell you that it was this amazing moment, because it seemed like a scene from really smart -- a michael mann movie. where you expect really smart writing and great acting. not like some crazy hyped up tv show. it was a wonderful moment where i had registered a very loud complaint with a woman who i thought had singled me out. a very young asian-american woman who is actually a breathtakingly beautiful woman and very serene. i'm sitting on the plane, she walked up to me and said, mr. baldwin, would you gather your things and come with me, please. and i have this narcotic effect that it put on me.effect that it put on me. then they threw me off the plane. [laughter] [laughter] mr. baldwin, please kindly
collect her things and come with me. as all this is happening, there were about seven or eight people who had their cell phones and who were tweeting as it happened. i want to thank all the people out there on twitter to happen to make note of the fact there were a lot of people in the first class of the plane who were on twitter at that very moment i was being kicked off for using my phone. they were tweeting about it. it was not my day. bad luck for me that day. but that's okay. i'm here as a guest of americans for the arts, and i have been coming down here since 1990. the origin of this work for me was what the creative coalition that was formed by michael fuchs, the head of hbo. michael fuchs, who wanted to bring together aim bunch of entertainment professionals, producers, directors, writers, actors, to focus their work and
advocacy on public policy, come for them their office space in the hbo building across from bryant park. hbo is still there, but i don't think that tcc is. michael fuchs gave them office space and a budget -- a modest budget from hbo. he got them started, and then they went out and raised money. the name of the game back then was for us to learn more about how to effectively advocate for our issue, whether it be there or here in washington. ron silver, it's sad when i look at the photograph, and nina can confirm this, steve collins, susan sarandon, and ron silver, half the people, it silver was someone who was a great mentor for me in the advocacy world.
i remember him sitting me down on the train coming down, he talked very succinctly and effectively about cover and you're going to save this and anticipating their answer and here's your battery of answers are going to have any facts and statements to help substantiate what we want to do. the issues were gun control, reproductive rights, the environment, federal funding for the arts and so forth. and when we would come down here, and i would come down here intermittently, to speak to members of congress, first to thank our supporters, both republican and democrat, who have worked to gain federal funding from the arts, and to admonish, that is something i might've done years ago, it is more to encourage and cajole some of our opponents who still don't believe that there is a role for the federal government in funding the arts. .. ..
that the backroom deal between the bradycampaign.org became known as the corn for porn swap. [laughter] since then a tremendous amount has changed on a variety of levels. the government is out of the individual grant business. the money dropped precipitously for a while and has come back up, however in think the numbers are still problematic as far as i'm concerned. you have appropriation for the nea now what about $147 million. the appropriation my first start coming down -- the statistics i have on line for 1992 was $175 million. the internet, which never ceases to amaze me took me quickly to a site where you could do the -- be indexed to adjust for inflation comes i program it at
$175 million which today would be 238 were tendered $48 million. so if 175,000,192 would be 148 million today and we are up on hundred 47 million we're at between 90 to $100 million less. make no mistake we are at right now about 190 to $100 million less in federal subsidies for the arts in a country that's grown that the hundred 20 million people roughly. at least once we could count these days. the ones we bother counting in this country these days. and the -- i am someone said on the record i think the arts are beyond the essential. i mean, everywhere i go -- i just got back from rome -- i see that dichotomy. i see that strange dissidents between some european economies who go to greece of course and the italians are very uncomfortable in their economy right now and you go and see we
have what they don't have, the american economy is still a strong economy when we balance our debt and pay our bills. the american economy is still a great economy, strong economy. when we falter it's because we don't get it right in terms of balancing our budget and priority is and that's a different conversation, but when you go to italy and they have -- they have a weak economy, but they have an artistic heritage that puts us to shame. you go to paris, london, even when you are in new york and this city as well -- to light when i give these remarks to talk about the artistic heritage of the country being embodied in this city like no other city in this country, included in the remarks today i say that nothing, nothing makes you love this country more. a kind of jokes mia bachelet. nothing makes you love this country more than when you come to washington, and it has nothing to do with one of the rhetoric that exists on the hill republican or democrat.
the rhetoric of political leadership is irrelevant in terms of creating a real love for this country. it only creates discuss and to stay and disappointment and heartbreak. and if you walk around washington, d.c., the great, great architecture, the great artistic heritage of our country is embodied in this town, in this great city where i went to college for three years. and i say it's so funny that i live in new york. years ago i used to live in washington and go to new york and here i was in washington, took a course on the d.c. politics and culture and learn kennedy's great line about d.c. and the city of southern efficiency and hospitality. [laughter] jfk's great quote about washington, and i lived in the old d.c., 1976i came down when
they were burning the shawl of iran and a refugee in lafayette park. there were burning the shawl of iran. if you light a match you would get shot buy probably six or seven different snipers in different aspects all over that area in front of the white house. the shut down pennsylvania avenue since. but i remember it was odd to me to be in union station. i remember when i went to school here, i didn't have the money to fly coming and it wasn't convenient, and they used to have a tree and you could take. the last train out of union station to penn station was 9:30 and was a local. is often delaware, new jersey, you swear to god is stopped in st. louis, too it took so long. [laughter] it was the slowest damn train you've been on your entire lifetime. we would go to new york and was like $18, $46 roundtrip to go on this training and would leave union station -- sometimes i would get a ride when i want to get there early and if i missed that train i was dead. i would get there early and he would sit in the great great
union station ftc and go on from there to new york, sophisticated, glamorous, wealthy, cosmopolitan new york and go to that godforsaken sinkhole penn station. [laughter] you go from one of the great train stations in this country to probably the worst train station in the country. to the worst. the worst. that is whether it was erected on the grounds at once had been a great station as many here know. why am i blacking out, mccann, lead and white. the old structure of the old penn station torn down. controversy are around the world from all corners of the world which gives birth to the historical preservation law of new york. but you are in new york. there's a lot of great architecture in new york, not like washington, a lot of great
architecture and art. much of the art of course that is done in public spaces and architecture behind the door you have to pay a fee to access, you know, great art in london, spain, all of our europe. rome is singular to me. it's hard to leave rome because the city itself as a work of art. you are in sight a work of art that is the expense of an entire city. and i think that in this country, when you are over there you see -- i only have glib words for you today about this but they have it down. they are spending a lot of money over there, and they are getting a lot of tourists over there in a lot of our money over there over the last many years because they have preserved that heritage and they've made a count. they have raised their children to believe our accounts. it's part of their culture and part of their heritage. then they come over here and what we don't have, we have the potential and typically a great
humming and hissing steaming 12 cylinder economy here and we don't get the art thing right all the time because i think we send the wrong signal. we say that art isn't important enough for the government to spend money on. i would spend a billion dollars each on the nea and the neh. i would spend a lot more money than people would imagine on art, government money on art education and so forth. but i think my host here this year, bob lynch, said he would settle for 1 dollar per u.s. citizen he would be happy with. he said just ask them to read their breen around 1 dollar, $320 million which would be doubled with the appropriation is now to read i want to finish by just -- because i could go on and on and on. i want to finish by saying we have heroes, friends, comrades, what ever you want to call them in the house and senate both republican and democrat in terms of four seemingly never-ending
journey in keeping america focused on the arts and arts education. i would like to give moment to thank live via slaughter in the buffalo area. you'll know louise slaughter and, norm and democrat from washington in the tacoma area. both stalwarts in the democratic side of the house for the arts. on the republican side, equally a stalwart -- i was here last year when kevin spacey was the speaker and i came to testify with kevin before the congress, and the testimony was canceled and we didn't wind up doing that, but representative richard hannah, who's been a good friend to the arts in our movement. the republican from the unit cut area of new york. representative chris gibson, also from new york, central new york in the saratoga springs area.
these are -- those are the two that we would call freshman moderates. no, i'm sorry, did i have -- yes, hannah from utica and gibson from saratoga springs, those are too moderate freshman's who are with us. the two stalwarts we have of the republicans in the house are of course mike sampson, who i met with last year from the boise area of idaho and representative iran shock from the peoria illinois district of his in illinois, both simpson and shock have been longtime friends of ours. people who are not come as we say in our movement here are the republican study group, which the republican study group which i think the -- you mentioned to me who was the founder? phil crane, the former member
was the founder of the republican study group will all the funding held in the congressman tim walberg, republican from michigan, we are hoping somehow we will be able to get a game of words with friends going with tim walberg. [laughter] i would like to pitch in that to get a beachhead with him over on our side. on the senate side, we have senator tom udall from mexico who has always been good with us on this issue he's a first term senator but he has been spearheading efforts to recruit other senators to support increases for the nea come and tom harkin who was the chairman of the help committee on health education, labor and pensions and has been placing a spotlight on the decline in arts education programs in grades k-12. the republicans we have that are
our heroes and friends are tom cochrane from mississippi i met with him last year. he has been great on the arts and susan collins will from maine, a longtime moderate republican and supporter of public funding for the arts and tom coburn is the one we were going to mention today that has been not as wonderful as we would like him to be on the issue of the arts, and i wanted to mention that we have a couple of -- is this the one right here? it's all in oklahoma. in the state of oklahoma we have got in march of 2001 the oklahoma visual arts coalition received the grant of $15,000. in -- the was march of 2001. in may of 2001 the lyric in oklahoma city, all five of these were in oklahoma city by the way
received, 2011 rather, oklahoma visual arts collision was march of 2011 and in may of 2011 was the lyric theater of oklahoma they got $45,000. the oklahoma council of the arts which i guess is more of an umbrella organization in june of 2000 that $773,000 from the national endowment of the arts and oklahoma. in july of 2011, the oklahoma visual arts again about $25,000, and in the oklahoma historical society in july got $20,000. so i just want to mention that we always find it not enjoyable was ultimately necessary to point out to the folks they are constituents of theirs in their own congressional districts or statewide in the senate the nea is bringing some wonderful art related programming events, shows, what have you and educational opportunities for
younger people there under the umbrella of the national endowment for the arts. i want to finish by saying that in my own life, might have with hearts to the court, some people think he kind of live in that the part lounge behind the velvet rope and that isn't necessarily true. i work in the business where the longer i am in the business the purely artistic aspects of my business trained more than the glitz and the glamour of what is often the purview of the stars and the actors design, directing, cinematography, editing, musical composition, everything that comes into play in great filmmaking are far more interested to me now and try my
attention now than they do, but the artistic experience in my life comes to meet the same way it comes to you. i go out my door and i try to identify some experience artistically that is attractive to me, then i have to get a ticket for it. and i can afford to buy a ticket for it. i can see what ever i want, whenever i want. i've been very blessed that way but a lot of people can't. and i have been working in the foundation i set up a few years ago to funnel some tributaries of my own income into the arts and funding right now i made this agreement with capital one bank i had a relationship with capital one bank becoming a spokesperson for a bank at the time of the banking collapse and at the genesis moment of the occupied wall street movement
was a goal of mine my career and i can assure you of that. however, capital one came with me to a couple of their bankers and we were talking about on camera promotional opportunities which i decided to avail myself of for two reasons, when i was on a television show every week and i thought now is the time. when i'm off tv i'm calling to be off tv for a while but while i'm on tv every week it became clearer that audiences are probably plenty sick of me now is a the can't get any more sick of me. maybe i'm wrong about that by the way. [laughter] but they can't get sicker of me than they are now so i thought i will do this campaign and i funneled proceeds i got from the arts foundation and we learned a specific amount of money from the two-tier contract with them last year from 18 months and give all that money to the related organizations during another round with them now.
i only mention that because it might not have been the smartest move in my life to the commercial for a bank but they've been great partners and they've helped me to shape the commercials and they've been very -- they've just been wonderful, wonderful partners for me and they told me publicize and promote the fact that we are giving them money to the are related organizations, and i say this because what it discovered as i've gotten older, because i and older now, i just turned 54 and as i've gotten older there is a thing i did that satisfied me, and there's a thing i did with my life and what is coming more into focus are not a lot of them but the three or four of the kings in my life i might have done that i could have been happy doing that were not at all what i am doing now, i got a great opportunity to be the on air announcer for the harmonic and new york and i've been doing that last three the seasons and my relationship with them has led me to this place that when you are with them you are in their art lounge. when you're hanging out with
these people and a bunch of people from the philadelphia symphony and they're calling them charlie, you know, you have a pretty heavy crowd and when i am around these people in the art world in the performing arts world, the classically trained music group of dhaka and so forth, it has been so thrilling for me. i mean, god, you just don't know how amazing it is. and this is the thing i will close with. it's also opened for media arts administration who is resigning now or retiring is the executive structure, he and his wife to have become friends of mine after writing for the philharmonic, and daniel was taking over for him. he came over from australia, lovely guy coming and i realized that to raise the money to
staff, when that group of men and women go out on the stage and perform and that building lifts off the ground for that hour and a half, that two hours, you feel like life is really worth living when they are playing this music and the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of hours those people put into mastering those instruments and studying the classical repertoire and give you the spirit of beautiful art form, there's a lot of people in the building that have to make that happen. have to raise that money, promote and sell those tickets and coordinate the schedules. the art administration is something i would like to see more programs in the art administration funded in terms of arts education. not everybody -- what is it, liked 1% of civility that picks up the violin got a seat in the orchestra and theater 99% teach or place something that is not
will for boston or cleveland or utah our dallas, these are the great symphonies that don't get there. so for many people, just as i have realized that there are ancillary jobs, other parts of my own field and just as happy, i see that now at my age that is true in the classical world as well as one example but there are things i could have done, i mean, there are times i sit there with the philharmonic and think i trends place it for a year any day, knowing what he knows and being able to exist the way he exists with great artists it's really thrilling. i think that pretty much encapsulates what my mission today is, to try to remind people that are to is many things.
we have our own opinion of what art is and what we define as art but the one i hope we can all agree on or maybe one day i can convince us to agree on is that art is the essential for us to continue to be a great country. we have to make our essential in our own lives and the lives of our children. thank you. [applause] >> is there one area of the art that is most threatened by a lack of funding? >> i would like to say half-hour comedy on nbc thursday night is the answer to that question. [laughter] that's a very threatened -- [laughter] i would say that that's a tough
question for me to answer because i've never done or have read about a survey of what the x-ray of the art world is and the cat scan of the art world will tell us right now, but i do know that i think they are all suffering equally. i've got friends of mine, monaco that works at my company, people could work with me and work in my life see the same thing whenever they leave this job and they do this exit interview i say what was the job like for you? working for you has been more like working for a congressman than an actor. there's so little glamour and film festivals. it's like raising money for people. the request for me to raise money for people in the arts or the organization is equally across-the-board. if it isn't in the national dance institute, it's this museum, this gallery, it's this poetry reading, it's across the
board, and i think of all of them in the theater, the mom for profit, the roundabout all of these great institutions are struggling hard. when times are strong what do they do? what is an organization of the arts institution want to do when everything is on the uptick? the one the money for the reserve, they want to get another 50 million of the reserve because you're going to get into that in everyday and i will cross the line to include literature in terms of art. my friends who i think are complaining the loudest who have seen the most despondent, most genuine are the people of publishing because books are going on line and the whole book world seems to be kind of melting down. semidey think the lawmakers would be generous funding the
art of money was donated for the education and not large projects or organizations? >> i don't know. i think that they got rid of the individual grants and i think that was a mistake. that is the freedom of expression. as i said before, they wanted people -- the setup the mechanism for a while if you were given a grant and is proving to be obscene to come if he were taken to court and you were a local jurisdiction in the municipality and the laws or violated with money he would have to pay the grant money back. and i thought that struck me as odd because i don't want the government to fund the art but number one, the number of things that were proven to be obscene i can't think of any actually that were proven in court the judge ruled they had broken the obscenity law we and where that was applied was a minuscule amount, and i felt this idea that the government wants to
fund certain aspects of the government what to fund a type of work but preemptively hamstring that where they want to say to the artist we are going to give you money to do a project but make sure when you do the project now you are given a general idea if it is obscene, if you do anything of seem to have to give the money back, paid back the money. are we going to do that in all aspects of the government? are the opponent's krin to go to the justice department? and you will give the salaries back for those hours we can get in seen with this whole kind of preemptive safeguarding they want to do. these are freedom of expression issues and what happened, and i don't like the word cultural war because it is a hot button that in these last years we have allowed people to cave on the freedom of expression and the arms. we have allowed people to get
intimidated about freedom of expression, and what it means and what they can lead to that a lot of people have backed off in defending that concept. >> how do you defend the need for defending the arts alongside the need for funding education as well as local eight? >> welcome to ressa, i am so glad you brought that up. because as most people who were advocates of this note and have known for many years is that art spending as a stimulus in the areas where that money flows. whether you are in a place that is as well healed as manhattan and you have a lot of corporations and people that were giving millions upon millions of dollars to the lincoln center's of the world and the metropolitan museum of art and so forth and all kind of art, performing arts and visual arts institutions, that giving is enormous, that private giving is incalculable. but those institutions get federal money as well. they qualify for federal money
because the tourists are coming to those cities and spending a lot of money on the restaurants and hotels. art spending stimulates economic activity. i went down at the request of the performing arts center in dallas, the dallas performing arts center they asked me to come down and do one of these conversations with programs i went down about a month or two ago and i was down there and they were telling me how come it fights understood the woman correctly, some board member backstage, she said to me that they had feared -- i don't mean to be cute about this but american airlines they are in chicago and the people in dallas believed one of the reasons they lost out in the consideration of having a major public come to dallas even though they have plenty of other ones down there it's because they didn't have a concentrated art center, a distinctive monolithic art
center like you have in the new york lincoln center and they're doing something about that now. they showed me the plans where the wind spirit is and the opera house and the performing arts school - they graduated from and game of their famous graduates. they told me they are going to close down some enormous sections of the eight lane freeway the have and rip it up and build a garden and unify this entire structure into their own lincoln center come to consider the type of facility, the billions they intend to spend over the next couple of decades, and certainly the of the money down there i would imagine, but it was interesting to me how the arts business, we are federal funding for the arts goes it is a proven incontrovertible trigger for a lot of others economic activity in the area of the funds are sent. >> how has twitter change your life as a celebrity and the
interaction have real value? >> i'd like to answer that question on a twitter if i may. [laughter] i had an interview what was the woman's name, do we have been and she was with -- is she here today from "newsweek"? i had a reporter -- there she is. what is your name again? samford from "newsweek." i was a little rough with sandra today because she was asking the same question and i said the great thing about twitter is it enables me to bypass people like you. [laughter] what could be better than that. i can speak to my fans directly into instantaneously granted the primary issue is i'm not a good writer actually, but it is a work in progress, but i do like it enables you to communicate on a limited number of fields with your fans. you may use it for promotion,
use the river to hug your colleagues and fellows and a certain area and to kick and although your opponents politically, it's pretty childish sometimes. i'm guilty of that, too but i do enjoy it because you get people directly and bypass all of you in this room. [laughter] >> since i have you 40 more minutes and we just a few more questions. you said if every show went off the air tomorrow what difference would it make, sitcoms for that matter, the media and the u.s. is all. what would you like to see on tv? >> i think it is less about what i like to see on tv because that doesn't matter. what we will start seeing is the pay-per-view packaging of television. you will start to see all of that. a lot of people in the world are saying i am paying for a cable package that i don't want. you are making me pay $69, $89,
$125 a month to have a triple package bundle of my internet streaming, and i suppose if you have more economic resources you don't read that bill as carefully as you might come and for other people who do, they read that bill a little more carefully and those people are saying what am i paying for? i'm paying for the line on the 500 channels and there's nothing on. it's not that there's nothing on, it's what you want, so we are getting much closer now to the age of the a la carte television viewing where you will go to recite, whether it is an apple tv style, you will select the menu of what channels you want and be charged for each of those things because they profoundly change the television business. estimate your upset for the today show and an outside your door. would you have given an interview if they had called?
>> that is something that's changed in my lifetime. i remember i would watch some morning programming before i became purely a radio person in the morning listening to npr and so forth and i would watch the morning programming on the today show and cbs there was a good harry smith and i would watch the shows and one time i remember towards the end of the tenure i think it was a special episode of the today show katie couric came down and was dressed in a kind of marilyn monroe get up of a kind of revealing dress and a blonde wig and she and the staff of a show did a musical rendition of diamonds are a girl's best friend. she came in a staircase with jules on and matt lauer was holding her hand, and she was lip-synching diamonds are a
girl's best friend. that's the day i turned off the today show and i never watched it again. it was over. [applause] and i just didn't need to see people doing lip-synching of diamonds are a girl's best friend at 7:30 in the morning. but i think that those shows they struggle that by having to battle with each other for audience, and from my standpoint that obsession with, that interest in the personal lives of people in the business i think to a degree is strange when you are on the inside of that is a kind of odd why people -- i could see if someone is ill or get married or has a benchmark in their life, but what i realized -- and i will finish with this -- what
happened in this business, many years ago -- and forgive me if i already said this -- years ago you had the people who were trying to get scoops on the stars and they wanted to know about who was having an affair and who was pregnant and had an abortion and who is sick and dying and who is gay and a closet homosexual. the studios had an obligation, the studios had a vested interest in managing the flow of that information and controlling the flow of that information come and they did so largely as compared to now very effectively until one day one guy will up and said why are we killing ourselves protecting these idiots? [laughter] these fornicating -- you could see the level of cynicism in the studio heads so they sat there and said why don't we go the other way and make money off of this? so when i go to work at a movie studio, at a major company, go
to work at a movie studio and shoot a film for them and down the hall was a television program and by the same company trying to cut my throat on tv. that is a very, very new world we live in these last 20 years with these programs. i signed a contract with a major studio and i've got to go to work and on that contract we have a writer that is a very lengthy writer of all of the press we are obligated to do to promote the film and it's a contractual requirement read and sidestepping some of these people who are just out to, you know, to the trip you or trippi yourself and just to walk you. it's mockery. we live in this world of mockery in the reality shows and people wanting to laugh at other people come and there's a kind of roman circus to the whole thing. by think that for me, i guess in the case of the today show why just expected more from them. >> you don't think something the required legal action on your
behalf was newsworthy? >> i think it's newsworthy, but the problem is, i mean, in my particular case with that story, which all of the facts of that for related because the woman that was the focus of this who was stalking me, she's been to go to court leges i'm told in may, was asked by the dea office, they were really gentleman about it, the two men i spoke to, could you do a favor and not speak about this in the press because we have an ongoing trial and i said okay and kept my comments to eminem. when i say to you they are going to have this case before a judge i have been fortunate enough why will say that i have -- i don't know how to describe it, i have a tsunami if you will of e-mails and telephone messages and the sofa who was the friend of a friend of mine, someone that i met through someone else, and met with of this person at the
request of my friend. do me a favor and me to this person to discuss, and two years since that meeting, something else involved. but i have a complete deluge of material that i've given that discusses what i put up with and you can see in this line as it goes it takes some hair raising turns. >> are you leaving a 30 rot? >> well, you know, it's funny in the sense of the show we signed for six years and i signed a contract extension for a seventh season because right as i was really sick of it like for all of us who did the show we had the feeling that we were on to something in season one and season to, three and four were great and begot prizes and awards and the ratings have never been great online ratings keep us there from the plus seven rating is very strong, dvr
and heuvel and so forth, millions of people watch the show seven days after the show online to come we are the beneficiaries of that technology. but then we got a season five and it didn't feel good, everybody felt pretty crappy likely would run out of gas. when they talked of doing a seventh season i guess because of their syndication and so forth i said hello, please, what a meteor to hit the building right now and put us out of our misery because i can't do this another day. then we got through with season five and got into a season six and this is often the case with great writers and i say this without an ounce of politeness or kindness they're the greatest sitcom writers in television since the seinfeld era. a lot of sitcom programming is more acute than funny and
there's a whole network that will demand naim less heuvel ramallah fax it's just one for that boy sex julca after another which works, it's popular. they are printing money over there but the 40 rock writers are the smartest and best comedy writers bar none in the last seven years and so of course they took this and came back in season six in devotee loved the writing and we would do it a couple more years. i would have done it next year and the year after that the truth of the matter is that nbc is in its predicament and the nisha probably scrape the point of the building now because they've got their pride. the roberts family and comcast people that have taken over like a devotee of scum they are competitive and they want to win and they don't want nbc to stay in this predicament. i will finish this by saying when i mention this to someone else, working for nbc was not insignificant in my decision. i didn't know the team of that
well before the show, i met her on saturday night live but i had a little to do with her because she was the head writer and you didn't interact with her in that way. lauren was the person that ring the doorbell for me to come and do the television series and lauren is an old friend of mine and got that going but the decision was also, the silver lining was to work for nbc which is the greatest of three netflix in the long term when you look at the stocks in the company and dealer networks have had a great legacy and news and sports and none that compares with nbc, the olympics coverage, the heritage inn news was equal with the legacy equal to cbs and the comedy lineup was king for a while with friends and seinfeld but they had a tough place now. we would like to see them get out of it. i'd like to see nbc get out of the predicament they are in but unfortunately it probably means we have to cancel most of the
shows on the air now. schenectady you still flying american airlines? [laughter] >> next question. >> i will look for that twitter on that one. you were a student at george washington university and ran for the student association president. what did you learn from that experience? [laughter] >> well i lost, so when you draw the posters and called more neatly, the droll graphic design is a key component of the politics. i was in school and i went to school and carry and was saved to become an interim on the hill for jerry anbar, the congressman that than from the district on
long island where i'm from and i didn't get to see him very much because the in terms worked it was comfortable there was a week and most of these guys will medical alcoholics in training. every day there would have a roster of all the parties in the house and senate office buildings and i came in and i was like gomer pyle. what are you doing we are out of work now. we liked the envelopes and soar to the files and everything. what do you all want to do after work and the heavy list of all the national association of corporate shampoo worse, this meeting. [laughter] the national association of que tips. [laughter] of these organizations meeting and these guys i worked with, the new the skinny in terms of food and booze. remember that reception with a q-tip people they have a good
lobster. i'm sitting there thinking we best to go over and say howdy to the q-tip people. and we did a bit of that but i also had a guy say to me did you want to work on a project and opening constituent and this was before the internet obviously, this was 77i believe, 78. and he said to me would be want? i have a project for you. no greater love that honors the vietnam veterans. [inaudible] she said we are going to put you in charge. they want each of the members of congress to select the most well three acclimated gm veteran we're going to take submissions
and call past searches and priests and leaders and contact them so i go off and do this project couple weeks and i have got my report for you. the guide that was the young staffer says we're going to have a meeting with the congressman. i think i met him like hello and goodbye twice. he was never they're paying attention to me. they bring in and they say congressman, you know mr. baldwin. i was like yes, sir. he said what did you come up with? i said ron kovacic, the subject of corn on the fourth of july committed the movie about an antiwar film and this is the working class long island. there's a pause and he says are you in all of your mind! ed schultz stelle michael program. you're on the case now we will get someone else to take care of
this. but i loved washington. worked at the fcc and a law firm and all this other stuff, but i was given the opportunity to audition and got into the acting program meant to be honest with you i started working right away and never looked back. >> is it true that when you turned 40 you stopped wearing jeans and if this happened after 6:00 would you have for a tuxedo? [laughter] >> i might have. i don't see anything wrong with that. someone asked me earlier do you become more like your character? that is one thing, you're in washington, this is a suit and tie crowd in dimond new york and it's a suit and tie crowd. i used to spend more time in l.a. which is not, but i play a guy that is in a suit and tie every day and it does wear off on you and i do get a lot of
this first and whole attitude. thanks for those of you that remember that reference. he was my roommates in college. i will see someone in the light you can't wear that. you can't wear brown shoes with a gray suit, my good man. what on earth are you thinking. so their frigidity of my character has worn off on me. but the other question was about genes. no, i don't wear jeans and i don't want to say why i don't wear jeans because that would be to offend all of the men in this room who do wear jeans when you are out of 40's. >> what person would you most like to portray? >> who would like to portray, that's a good question. i don't know if i want to portray him but i would like to see him portrayed in some way and i don't know how you could
dramatize. sometimes these things are the purview of literature for reason and they don't really make a great films but as we live in the world we live in today and that i think is increasingly shaped i don't want to say recklessly but i should say the word is, struggling, you are all writers, a world that is being shaped kind of surreptitiously if you will by the current supreme court. i would like to see something the would bring to a new generation a biography fillmore otherwise on michael douglas. >> do you plan to run for public office? stat i have a very important announcement like to make sure all of you today. laughter colin amol blood you're here. it's to do with great humility
and a sense of pride and great love of my country i announce i'm running for the east hampton library historical society treasurer's position. [laughter] and i would hope of the world read my literature. i will have a little table what side of literature. thank you. we're almost out of time that before i get to ask the last question i would like to remind you of upcoming speakers. april 24th week of the secretary ken salazar the u.s. department of interior to read me fourth, the general manager of the washington nationals, and mankind, billy jean king the tennis legend. next would like to present a guest with a traditional coffee mug. [applause] and my last question for you. what is in your wallet. [laughter] stannic will give you an insight into my wallet.
when i made the deal with capital one the insisted i had to carry capital on credit cards and destroy all my others. i had to be a customer so i do have capital on credit cards and another thing is my daughter when she was a little child, she made us both licensed the berlin indians in the state of california so i have a trauma with her by hands when she was 5-years-old my license as a veterinarian in california and am i capital one card. >> do you practice? [laughter] >> this i do. [laughter] held about a round of applause for the speaker today. thank you for coming. >> thank you. [applause] scan the data also like to think the national press club staff and putting its journalism institute and broadcast center for organizing today's event. finally, here's the reminder you can find more information about the national press club on the web site. also, if you would like to get a copy of today's program please check out our web site at
www.press.org. thank you all for coming, and we are adjourned. we asked students to create a video telling us which part of the constitution is the most important to them and why. today we will take you to toss oklahoma with third prize winner michael clarke is a junior. hello, michael. >> what is the copyright clause? >> basically it gives congress the power to protect copyright. >> why did you select this house your topic? >> mainly because and interested in things like music and film and i had always heard about how copyright affects music and film
but i never understood why. >> what is the purpose of copyright protection? >> it basically allows an artist or an inventor to keep their word from being stolen from somebody else and claim as their own work. >> as new technology has come about these had an impact on copyright triet would have been some of the negative consequences? >> the biggest negative consequences and file sharing also known as peer-to-peer sharing which basically allows for an individual to take a individual file and distributed to other individuals even though those of the individuals may not have purchased that for themselves. so it's basically like stealing but in the digital world. >> and how is this impacted artists? >> manly because it takes money away from artists because the money they would have gained from those individuals bonding the additional material they lose because of the individuals are sharing that material all
over the internet. >> and what are some of the benefits of motion picture and the music industry have seen from this? >> the biggest one has been access to the viewers. you can now upload something almost instantly, and anybody in the world can see it if they have access to the internet. so it allows them to get their name out there a lot more quickly. >> what is being done to enforce copyright protections? >> the most recent case was with a final sharing web site known as mega upload and they were taken down by the federal government, and >> in reality the landscape has been adapting to their needs and the biggest adaptation that they needed to do was really to make their work of better quality
because now anybody can get their work out their. so, there's a lot more competition. so everybody just needs to make better quality material in order for them to survive in the entertainment industry. >> what do teenagers think about the copyright law clacks stomach most teenagers despise it, and i think the biggest reason for this is because a lot of people think you shouldn't make art for the purpose of -- for financial service you should make it to express yourself and things like that, so there shouldn't be the need to claim what is your own work if you don't need to make money off of it. >> what do you think is the future of copyright in this new digital age? >> i think copyright well forever exist. i don't think it is going to die out but it might become transparent because again, like i said earlier, a lot of people -- there is a lot of
competition, and it's not just competition of quality but it's also competition of financially. so it's like an artist can be like hay i created this coming in again listened to it for free and even though it isn't as good as these areas, you can listen to my stuff for free so i think eventually we will reach the point that artists won't really be making money off of the music or at least off of the digital files, they will simply be making money off of things like shows and things of that nature. specs before, michael and congratulations on your win. specs before. stomach's a brief portion from the document fitial with the copyright laws and digital media. >> there was a supreme court case back in the 80's that legalized the vcr because when the vcr came out the studios were very worried people were not going to go to the movies anymore. >> i take one vcr home and a record or copy my copy of star wars and then i have two copies
of a can sell or discourage other people from that. the impact of business was interesting the supreme court and other courts ruled that if you purchase it you have a right to make a copy of your own purchase. there are laws in place and the supreme court if you have something that's digital media in this case, it was analog in the form of the vcr tapes that you have a right to make a copy just in case this one is damaged you can make a copy and that made sense to riggins of the supreme court or the court ruled that you could make those copies. >> you can watch the entire documentary as well as all of the winning videos at studentcam.org and continue the conversation on the c-span's facebook and twitter pages.
>> we are going to start. good afternoon. i'm dan gross, and i am not just president of the brady campaign, but today my brother, matthew gross and i are proud to be part of the 32. we want to welcome all of you year-to-date. it's a beautiful day. it's an exciting day but it is a somber day. five years ago today, 32 people were killed at virginia tech in the worst mass shooting in u.s. history. but this is not just a somber day because the tragic anniversary that it represents. it's a somber day because today 42 more will be murdered polygons in the nation. yes, a mother virginia tech will happen today like it happens every day. and that's why we are here, to say enough is enough, and to
hold the people that do their work in that building behind us. we're here with the victims and survivors from across the nation to represent the 32 that were lost five years ago but virginia tech and to represent the 32 better murdered by guns in the nation every day. way and that the nra convention in his feeble attempt to deflect the well deserved blame for putting it in george zimmerman is hands at the call to complain about the media attention on the tragedy. he asked about the tragedies that occur every day in the nation? 42 of them, and they blame you and the politicians to do your bidding every much as the media does. the fact is not just the trayvon martin tragedy but most can b